Despite a decade of federal regulation and debate over the appropriateness of financial ties in research and their management, little is known about the actual decision-making processes of university conflict of interest (COI) committees. This paper analyzes in detail the discussions and decisions of three COI committees at three public universities in California. University committee members struggle to understand complex financial relationships and reconcile institutional, state, and federal policies and at the same time work to protect the integrity of the (...) scientific process, the autonomy and intellectual freedom of their faculty colleagues and students, and the financial interests of the university. (shrink)
This book is the result of a three-year study undertaken by a multidisciplinary working party of the Institute of Medical Ethic (UK). The group was chaired by a moral theologian, and its members included biological and ethological scientists, toxicologists, physicians, veterinary surgeons, an expert in alternatives to animal use, officers of animal welfare organizations, a Home Office Inspector, philosophers, and a lawyer. Coming from these different backgrounds, and holding a diversity of moral views, the members produced the agreed report as (...) a result of detailed and rigorous discussions. The book sets out facts about animal experiments and about animal abilities to experience pain, distress and anxiety. There is a detailed examination of the moral claims related to the benefits likely to accrue from animal research, and of strategies for weighing these benefits against the harm caused to animals, in order to decide whether particular research projects ought or ought not to proceed. This leads to consideration of the statutory and non-statutory controls which safeguard standards in such research. The final section explores a variety of philosophical arguments about the use of animals in research, and offers a philosophical justification for the Working Party's more practical conclusions. Written in clear, nontechnical language, this book is accessible to lay people as well as to scientists. It is the first such document to emerge from a meeting of people with such widely differing views on this highly controversial subject, and represents a major contribution towards informing and raising the quality of contemporary debate. The book is unique in drawing together material and ideas never before found in one volume. It will interest a broad spectrum of readers, from ethicists and animal rights advocates to scientific researchers and laboratory administrators, along with general readers concerned about this compelling issue. (shrink)
The traditional Christian view that God foreknows the future exclusively in terms of what will and will not come to pass is partially rooted in two ancient Hellenistic philosophical assumptions. Hellenistic philosophers universally assumed that propositions asserting 'x will occur' contradict propositions asserting 'x will not occur' and generally assumed that the gods lose significant providential advantage if they know the future partly as a domain of possibilities rather than exclusively in terms of what will and will not occur. Both (...) assumptions continue to influence people in the direction of the traditional understanding of God's knowledge of the future. In this essay I argue that the first assumption is unnecessary and the second largely misguided. (shrink)
The case recounts an incident of theft at a CEOs home during a company party. The rogue may well be an employee, and the CEO considers his options: should he let the matter pass and preserve the good will generated by the party, or should he stand on principle and engage the issue frontally? Three commentators provide perspective on an optimal response. They consider whether the CEOs true intent is to show appreciation or showcase opulence. In addition, the aberrant behavior (...) at this celebratory event suggests some measures that management might take in the workplace. (shrink)
Much human adaptation depends on the gradual accumulation of culturally transmitted knowledge and technology. Recent models of this process predict that large, well-connected populations will have more diverse and complex tool kits than small, isolated populations. While several examples of the loss of technology in small populations are consistent with this prediction, it found no support in two systematic quantitative tests. Both studies were based on data from continental populations in which contact rates were not available, and therefore these studies (...) do not provide a test of the models. Here, we show that in Oceania, around the time of early European contact, islands with small populations had less complicated marine foraging technology. This ﬁnding suggests that explanations of existing cultural variation based on optimality models alone are incomplete because demography plays an important role in generating cumulative cultural adaptation. It also indicates that hominin populations with similar cognitive abilities may leave very different archaeological records, a conclusion that has important implications for our understanding of the origin of anatomically modern humans and their evolved psychology. (shrink)
Much existing literature in anthropology suggests that teaching is rare in non-Western societies, and that cultural transmission is mostly vertical (parent-to-offspring). However, applications of evolutionary theory to humans predict both teaching and non-vertical transmission of culturally learned skills, behaviors, and knowledge should be common cross-culturally. Here, we review this body of theory to derive predictions about when teaching and non-vertical transmission should be adaptive, and thus more likely to be observed empirically. Using three interviews conducted with rural Fijian populations, we (...) find that parents are more likely to teach than are other kin types, high-skill and highly valued domains are more likely to be taught, and oblique transmission is associated with high-skill domains, which are learned later in life. Finally, we conclude that the apparent conflict between theory and empirical evidence is due to a mismatch of theoretical hypotheses and empirical claims across disciplines, and we reconcile theory with the existing literature in light of our results. (shrink)
: Humor seems uniquely human, but it has deep biological roots. Laughter, the best evidence suggests, derives from the ritualized breathing and open-mouth display common in animal play. Play evolved as training for the unexpected, in creatures putting themselves at risk of losing balance or dominance so that they learn to recover. Humor in turn involves play with the expectations we share-whether innate or acquired-in order to catch one another off guard in ways that simulate risk and stimulate recovery. An (...) evolutionary approach to three great literary humorists, Shakespeare, Nabokov and Beckett, shows that a species-wide explanation not only cuts deeper but in no way diminishes individual difference. (shrink)
The marketing of infant formula in third-world countries in the 1970s by Nestlé S.A. gave rise to a consumer boycott that came to be a widely taught case study in the field of Business Ethics. This article extends that case study by identifying three specific individuals who were associated with managing Nestlé’s response to that boycott. It reveals their subsequent direct involvement in a number of additional “classic” 1980s business scandals (some of which ended with major criminal trials and the (...) imprisonment of eminent business figures)—and describes tangential linkages to other business scandals of the time. The article discloses a behind-the-scenes pattern of business villainy, adding both depth and breadth to previous accounts of these scandals. The article offers a conceptual framework that goes beyond personal greed as an explanatory factor for such unethical behavior in the business world, suggesting the presence of personal and organizational networks of intrigue and opportunity. The linkages between the scandals suggest an epidemiological process with the plotters acting as “virus” carriers contaminating various corporate cultures. (shrink)
Interpreters of Aquinas’s theory of natural law have occasionally argued that the theory has no need for God. Some, such as Anthony Lisska, wish to avoid an interpretation that construes the theory as an instance of theological definism. Instead Lisska sees Aquinas’s ontology of natural kinds as central to the theory. In his zeal to eliminate God from Aquinas’s theory of natural law, Lisska has overlooked two important features of the theory. First, Aquinas states that the desire for God is (...) a primary precept of the natural law and thus constitutes a critical aspect of his ontology. Secondly, Aquinas’s theory of natural law must be seen in the larger context of his theory of participation since he says, “The natural law is the rational creature’s participation in the eternal law.”. (shrink)
: This is an interpretation of the experiential/religious meaning of Japanese Shrine Shintō as taught us primarily by the priests at Tsubaki Grand Shrine, Suzuka, Mie Prefecture. As a heuristic device, we suggest lines of comparison between the thought and practice of the Tsubaki priests and two Western thinkers: the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber and the French philosopher Georges Bataille. This in turn allows the construction of three interpretive categories that we believe illuminate both the Shintō worldview and Shintō ritual (...) practice. (shrink)
Among the many vivid metaphors in Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, one stands out. The understanding of how cumulative natural selection gives rise to adaptations is, Dennett says, like a “universal acid”—an idea so powerful and corrosive of conventional wisdom that it dissolves all attempts to contain it within biology. Like most good ideas, this one is very simple: Once replicators (material objects that are faithfully copied) come to exist, some will replicate more rapidly than others, leading to adaptation by natural selection. (...) The great power of the idea is that the resulting adaptations can be understood by asking what leads to efficient, rapid replication. Given that ideas seem to replicate, it is natural that Dawkins (1976, 1982), Dennett (1992), and others have explored the possibility of using this idea to explain cultural evolution. (shrink)
The complexity of human societies of the past few thousand years rivals that of social insect societies. We hypothesize that two sets of social “instincts” underpin and constrain the evolution of complex societies. One set is ancient and shared with other social primate species, and one is derived and unique to our lineage. The latter evolved by the late Pleistocene, and led to the evolution of institutions of intermediate complexity in acephalous societies. The institutions of complex societies often conflict with (...) our social instincts. The complex societies of the last few thousand years can function only because cultural evolution has created effective “work-arounds” to manage such instincts. We describe a series of work-arounds and use the data on the relative effectiveness of WWII armies to test the work-around hypothesis. (shrink)
Indirect reciprocity occurs when the cooperative behavior between two individuals is contingent on their previous behavior toward others. Previous theoretical analysis indicates that indirect reciprocity can evolve if individuals use an image-scoring strategy. In this paper, we show that, when errors are added, indirect reciprocity cannot be based on an image-scoring strategy. However, if individuals use a standing strategy, then cooperation through indirect reciprocity is evolutionarily stable. These two strategies differ with respect to the information to which they attend. While (...) image-scoring strategies only need attend to the actions of others, standing strategies also require information about intent. We speculate that this difference may shed light on the evolvability of indirect reciprocity. Additionally, we show that systems of indirect reciprocity are highly sensitive to the availability of information. Finally, we present a model which shows that if indirect reciprocity were to evolve, selection should also favor trusting behavior in relations between strangers. r 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Understanding cooperation and punishment in small-scale societies is crucial for explaining the origins of human cooperation. We studied warfare among the Turkana, a politically uncentralized, egalitarian, nomadic pastoral society in East Africa. Based on a representative sample of 88 recent raids, we show that the Turkana sustain costly cooperation in combat at a remarkably large scale, at least in part, through punishment of free-riders. Raiding parties comprised several hundred warriors and participants are not kin or day-to-day interactants. Warriors incur substantial (...) risk of death and produce collective beneﬁts. Cowardice and desertions occur. (shrink)
As cultural evolutionists interested in how culture changes over the long term, we've thought and written a lot about migration, but only recently tumbled to an obvious idea: migration has a profound effect on how societies evolve culturally because it is selective. People move to societies that provide a more attractive way of life, and all other things being equal, this process spreads ideas and institutions that lead to economic efficiency, social order and equality.
Group beneficial norms are common in human societies. The persistence of such norms is consistent with evolutionary game theory, but existing models do not provide a plausible explanation for why they are common. We show that when a model of imitation used to derive replicator dynamics in isolated populations is generalized to allow for population structure, group beneficial norms can spread rapidly under plausible conditions. We also show that this mechanism allows recombination of different group beneficial norms arising in..
Abstract Analysis of assumptions about the nature of moral relationships within the most well known approaches to moral education developed in North America during the last 25 years reveals two serious deficiencies in current theory. At one level the problem is that the range of variation is so broad as to give poor practical guidance; to this a call is made for the right kind of integrated theory. At a deeper level a problem is seen with the commonly shared assumption (...) that moral education should focus only on individuals and their interactions. It is argued that this focus prevents moral education from addressing the most serious moral problems of our time and functions to protect the privilege of those doing the theorising. (shrink)
Men have been talking of death from time immemorial - sometimes sublimely in prose and poetry, in painting and sculpture and in music - till silence seemed to fall in the recent past. Now men are again talking about death - interminably but colloquially. They talk on television, on the radio, in books and in pamphlets. Dr Kenneth Boyd therefore finds it entirely timely to offer this historical sketch of attitudes to death. The earlier part of his paper covers (...) fairly familiar ground but his final and longest section on the work of a social historian, Philippe Ariès, may be new to many. Ariès is reinterpreting the long history of attitudes to death in a form which may well interest those who today are concerned with helping modern man to accept his own death - death which still, for most people, is the death of another, not of oneself. (shrink)
This is an interpretation of the experiential/religious meaning of Japanese Shrine Shinto as taught us primarily by the priests at Tsubaki Grand Shrine, Suzuka, Mie Prefecture. As a heuristic device, we suggest lines of comparison between the thought and practice of the Tsubaki priests and two Western thinkers: the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber and the French philosopher Georges Bataille. This in turn allows the construction of three interpretive categories that we believe illuminate both the Shintō worldview and Shintō ritual practice.
Upshot: This is a book for thoughtful science and mathematics teachers and curriculum developers and educational philosophers. Quale helps us to challenge pernicious received “truths‘ and offers us intriguing perspectives, valuable discourse ventures and practical paedagogic strategies to engage the youth of today who are turning away from science in droves, to their and our cost.
The Edinburgh Medical Group Research Project is unique in Britain. Part of its function is to experiment with teaching medical ethics both inside and outside of the Medical School. The papers which follow have been written by two full-time reseach fellows working with the Project and two of the professional advisers, one nursing and one medical. Together they give a picture of the wide scope of exerimental teaching taking place in Edinburgh and present some preliminary results from these experiments.
Two kinds of factors set the tempo and direction of organic and cultural evolution, those external to biotic evolutionary process, such as changes in the earth’s physical and chemical environments, and those internal to it, such as the time required for chance factors to lead lineages across adaptive valleys to a new niche space (Valentine 1985). The relative importance of these two sorts of processes is widely debated. Valentine (1973) argued that marine invertebrate diversity patterns responded to seafloor spreading as (...) this process generated more or less niche space. He suggested that natural selection is a powerful force and that earth’s biota are in near equilibrium with the niches available on the geological time scale. Walker and Valentine (1984) modeled the evolution of species assuming a logistic speciation rate limited by internal factors and a diversity-independent death rate caused by ongoing environmental change. Fitting this model to the observed evolution of shelled marine invertebrates suggests that the lag between extinctions and the evolution of new species leaves perhaps 30% of ecological niches unfilled. In this model, the biota lag environmental change by perhaps a few million years. However, as Valentine (1985) notes, if adaptive landscapes have whole suites of niches protected by deep maladaptive valleys, the waiting time for some pioneering species to cross the divide may be very long, generating the rare events that set new body plans and generate major adaptive radiations. Eldredge and Gould (1972) and Gould (2002) championed the idea that internal processes such as genetic and developmental constraints, coupled with the complexity of the adaptive landscape, resulted in a highly historically contingent evolutionary process. On Gould’s account, most of the history of life had to do not with a relatively close tracking of a changing environment but with the halting evolutionary exploration a deeply fissured niche space, mostly by rapid bursts of evolution as a fissure was crossed, followed by long periods of stasis.. (shrink)
This penetrating book sheds light on the psychology of fundamentalism, with a particular focus on those who become extremists and fanatics. What accounts for the violence that emerges among some fundamentalist groups? The contributors to this book identify several factors: a radical dualism, in which all aspects of life are bluntly categorized as either good or evil; a destructive inclination to interpret authoritative texts, laws, and teachings in the most literal of terms; an extreme and totalized conversion experience; paranoid thinking; (...) and an apocalyptic world view. After examining each of these concepts in detail, and showing the ways in which they lead to violence among widely disparate groups, these engrossing essays explore such areas as fundamentalism in the American experience and among jihadists, and they illuminate aspects of the same psychology that contributed to such historical crises as the French Revolution, the Nazi movement, and post-Partition Hindu religious practice. (shrink)